Alexander Vladimirovich Emelianenko (Russian: Александр Владимирович Емельяненко, tr. Aleksandr Vladimirovich Emel'janenko [ɐlʲɪkˈsandr vlɐˈdʲimʲɪrəvʲɪtɕ jɪmʲɪˈlʲjanʲɪnkə]; born (1981-08-02)August 2, 1981) is a Russian mixed martial artist. He is a three-time Russian national Combat Sambo champion and three-time world Combat Sambo champion in the absolute division. Emelianenko was convicted of aggravated sexual assault in May 2015 and was released early on parole on October 26, 2016. He is the younger brother of Fedor Emelianenko.
Emelianenko was born on (1981-08-02)August 2, 1981 in Stary Oskol, Soviet Union. in a family of a teacher, Olga Feodorovna Emelianenko, and a welder, Vladimir Alexanderovich Emelianenko. He is the third child in the family and has an older sister, Marina, an older brother, Fedor, and a younger brother, Ivan.
In his childhood, since his parents were working during the day, Emelianenko spent a lot of time on the rough streets. During his early teens, he used to take part in street fights while his parents were working, going so far as being involved in a riot between neighborhoods.
Since his family did not have enough money, his mother used to prepare only a single meal for the entire week for Emelianenko and his brothers and he had to share clothing with his older brother.
Initially studying to become an electrician at the vocational school, Emelianenko finished his studies in 1999 as an electric welder after he was transferred several times to other technical specialties for bad behavior.
When he was a teenager, while his brother Fedor was in the Russian Army, his parents separated and, since then, Emelianenko has had a strained relationship with his father, with whom he rarely speaks.
Martial arts training
Emelianenko started martial arts training at a very early age: his older brother, Fedor, often had to babysit him, and since Fedor did not want to miss his Sambo practice, he took young Alexander with him. At first, Emelianenko only observed the older kids, but soon he started mimicking their movements. He started his formal Sambo training when he joined elementary school, training with Vladimir Mihailovich Voronov.
Besides Sambo, Emelianenko practiced judo, wrestling and boxing and he also participated in other sports like basketball and football. At 16 years old, when he was in training school, his mother forbade him from training boxing but Emelianenko kept doing it in secret.
Also at 16 years old, Emelianenko became a Russian Master of Sport in judo.
In 1999, Emelianenko won the European Sambo championships.
In 2003 he won the World Combat Sambo championships and repeated this feat in 2004 and 2006.
In 2010, during February 19–22, Emelianeko took part in the Russian Cup of Combat Sambo representing Saint Petersburg, winning the heavyweight tournament (his brother Fedor injured his hand during the tournament) and earning the right to represent Russia at the World Championships.
Emelianenko participated in sambo at Sportaccord Combat Games 2010 in Beijing, where he won the silver medal in the +100 kg category.
Emelianenko has famously said of his fighting prowess, "My punches are like electric trains, if I miss, my opponent would catch a cold."
Mixed martial arts career
The Pride years
One of the youngest fighters to debut in Pride Fighting Championships at 22 years old, on October 5, 2003 (2003-10-05) at the event Pride Bushido 1, Emelianenko made his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) debut against Brazilian Assuerio Silva, defeating Silva by split decision.
In his next fight on December 31, 2003 (2003-12-31), Emelianenko fought against Brazilian fighter Angelo Araujo at Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003 Inoki Festival, defeating Araujo by TKO after Emelianenko cut Araujo above the right eye and the doctor stopped the fight.
At PRIDE Bushido 3 on May 23, 2004 (2004-05-23), Emelianenko defeated Australian Matt Foki via rear naked choke in the first round.
In his fourth professional fight, Emelianenko was defeated in the first round via KO (head kick) by Croat Mirko Cro Cop, one of the top heavyweight contenders in MMA at the time, at Pride Final Conflict 2004 on August 15, 2004 (2004-08-15).
On October 9, 2004 (2004-10-09), Emelianenko rebounded with a victory over Brazilian Carlos "Carlão" Barreto by decision at M-1 MFC Middleweight GP, the first time that Emelianenko fought outside Japan.
Returning to Pride, on October 31, 2004 (2004-10-31) at Pride 28 Emelianenko knocked out English brawler James Thompson in eleven seconds, Emelianenko's shortest fight to date.
In his second shortest fight, Emelianenko defeated Brazilian Ricardo Morais by KO (punches) in fifteen seconds on April 3, 2005 (2005-04-03) at Pride Bushido 6. Emelianenko has commented that he broke one of his hands while punching Morais.
In his third consecutive KO victory, on October 9, 2005 (2005-10-09) Emelianenko defeated Dutch kickboxer Rene Rooze in 28 second with a brutal knockout that left Rooze unconscious for some minutes at Bushido Rotterdam Rumble in the Netherlands.
At Pride Shockwave 2005 on December 31, 2005 (2005-12-31), Emelianenko submitted 1996 gold medalist judoka Pawel Nastula with a rear naked choke in the first round.
In Emelianenko's second professional loss, on May 5, 2006 (2006-05-05) at the event Pride Total Elimination Absolute, during the second round of Pride 2006 Openweight Grand Prix, King of Pancrase Josh Barnett defeated Emelianenko with a keylock, after Emelianenko dominated the striking exchanges during the first round and broke Barnett's nose. Emelianenko has claimed that he had fever before the fight, with the doctors advising him not to fight that night, which he ignored because it was the Openweight Grand Prix, the most important competition at the time.
In his last fight in Pride, Emelianenko defeated former teammate and fellow Russian Sergei Kharitonov via TKO in a back and forth match which ended in the first round after Emelianenko punched and kneed Kharitonov relentlessly on the ground, forcing the referee to stop the fight at Pride Final Conflict Absolute on September 10, 2006 (2006-09-10).
Two months after his last fight, on November 12, 2006 (2006-11-12) at the event 2 Hot 2 Handle: Pride & Honor in Rotterdam, Emelianenko faced Brazilian Jiu-jitsu specialist Fabrício Werdum, who defeated Emelianenko in the first round via submission (arm triangle choke). In an interview with Sherdog, Emelianenko stated that he did not train at all for the Werdum fight as his original opponent was not going to be Werdum, and he would like a rematch with him.
On April 14, 2007 (2007-04-14) at Bodog Fight Series II: Clash of the Nations, Emelianenko fought once again in Russia, knocking out American Eric Pele with punches in the first round, the first time that Pele was knocked out in his career.
In his next match, Emelianenko faced Dutch Jessie Gibbs (called Gibson at the time), who was a late replacement for Gilbert Yvel. Emelianenko defeated Gibbs with a kimura submission in the first round at M-1 Mix Fight Championship: Russia vs Europe on July 21, 2007 (2007-07-21).
Fighting for the first time in North America and originally scheduled to fight Wesley Correira, Emelianenko defeated American super heavyweight Dan Bobish via submission (guillotine choke) in the first round on October 19, 2007 (2007-10-19) at Hardcore Championship Fighting: Title Wave in Calgary. This was Bobish's last professional bout as he injured his back in the fight and refused to have surgery.
Returning to Saint Petersburg, on April 3, 2008 (2008-04-03), Emelianenko fought Brazilian Silvao Santos, defeating Santos by TKO (punch) at M-1 Challenge 2.
Emelianenko was signed to make his United States debut at Affliction: Banned on July 19, 2008 (2008-07-19). But at the weigh-ins for the event, it was announced that Emelianenko was unable to meet the licensing standards of the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC). Emelianenko was replaced by Gary Goodridge.
Emelianenko denied the rumors about a positive test for Hepatitis B, commenting that he was unable to compete because he was late for his medicals, arriving two days after the scheduled date for his medicals with the CSAC due to visa issues. Due to the health and privacy rules in California, the CSAC was not allowed to comment why Emelianenko was denied a license, but a member of the CSAC commented on a radio show that Emelianenko was not and would not be cleared in California, and that this would stand for all of the United States of America.
Emelianenko was also expected to appear at a planned upcoming Affliction event (Affliction: Day of Reckoning) on October 11, 2008 (2008-10-11), but was removed from any plan due to still having licensing problems on August 2008 (2008-08).
Returning to Europe, on November 21, 2008 (2008-11-21) at M-1 Global's event M-1 Challenge 9 in Saint Petersburg, Emelianenko defeated South Korean Sang Soo Lee via KO (punches) in the first round.
Emelianenko left Red Devil Sport Club on March 3, 2009 (2009-03-03).
At the event ProFC 5: Russia vs. Europe on March 29, 2009 (2009-03-29), Emelianenko defeated fellow Russian Ibragim Magomedov by TKO in 51 seconds, after Magomedov was close to knocking Emelianenko out but, in the punching exchange, Emelianenko managed to cut Magomedov near his right eye, which prompted the referee to stop the fight after the ring doctor checked the injury.
Emelianenko was slated to compete on September 29, 2009 (2009-09-29) in South Korea at the event Fighting Mixed Combative 2 against Bulgarian Sambo practitioner Blagoi Ivanov, who had defeated Emelianenko's brother Fedor in the 2008 World Sambo Championships, but Ivanov injured his hands in a previous match against Kazuyuki Fujita, which left the event date in the air, so Emelianenko decided to withdraw from the event altogether.
After a year without professional MMA matches, Emelianenko's next fight was on April 23, 2010 (2010-04-23) at ProFC: Commonwealth Cup against Swedish wrestler Eddy Bengtsson, who Emelianenko defeated by TKO in a strange ending after Bengtsson fell down apparently with a light punch. Emelianenko founded his own training team, AE Team, which he started to present in his fight against Bengtsson.
A month later, on May 22, 2010 (2010-05-22) at the event Azerbaijan vs. Europe organized with the support of the Azerbaijan Pankration Federation (APF) and held in Baku, Emelianenko defeated Serbian fighter Miodrag Petkovic by TKO (punches) in the first round.
During July 2010 (2010-07), Emelianenko was in talks with Polish promotion KSW (Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki) for a possible match up against strongman Mariusz Pudzianowski and reached a verbal agreement. But on August 3, 2010 (2010-08-03) KSW co-owner Maciej Kawulski stated in a Polsat News interview that Emelianenko would likely not fight in KSW, claiming that Emelianenko had Hepatitis C. Emelianenko denied this and demanded an apology from KSW. During the controversy, a previous opponent of Emelianenko claimed that he believed that Emelianenko had Hepatitis B, not C.
On August 10, 2010 (2010-08-10), Polish MMA promotion Strefa Walk decided to make public the results of medical tests reportedly taken by Emelianenko. These tests are claimed to show that he had none of the varieties of hepatitis and, thus, was fit to fight for the promotion. There has not since been independent verification of the tests results or recognition of the results by independent licensing agencies.
After the controversy, Strefa Walk announced a fight between Emelianenko and Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem, which Bas Boon, head of Golden Glory, confirmed to a Polish MMA website that it was in negotiations, but a few days later Overeem announced on Twitter that he was not going to fight Emelianenko.
On October 19, 2010 (2010-10-19), Strefa Walk held a press conference in which it was officially announced that Emelianenko would face Austrian fighter Chris Mahle in the main event of Strefa Walk M&W: Emelianenko vs Mahle in Łódź, Poland on November 19, 2010 (2010-11-19). On November 17, 2010 (2010-11-17) Strefa Walk announced that the date of the bout of Emelianenko's bout with Mahle was changed to February 25, 2011 (2011-02-25).
Before his fight with Mahle, Emelianenko faced Australian kickboxer Peter Graham on December 18, 2010 (2010-12-18), being defeated by Graham via TKO in the second round after Graham connected several leg kicks that rendered Emelianenko unable to continue the fight.
On February 10, 2011 (2011-02-10) it was announced that Emelianenko's bout with Mahle was postponed to an unspecified later date due to the injury that Emelianenko received during his fight with Peter Graham.
Emelianenko faced Magomed Malikov at M-1 Challenge XXVIII on November 12, 2011 in Astrakhan, Russia. Emelianenko lost the fight via first-round KO.
Alexander Emelianenko fought Tadas Rimkevicius at M-1 Challenge 31 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Emelianenko won the fight via TKO (punches) at 1:52 of round 2.
In his final match, Emelianenko submitted to a north–south choke from American grappler Jeff Monson in the second round of their contest at M-1 Challenge 35: Emelianenko vs. Monson at the Ice Palace in Saint Petersburg on November 15, 2012. He announced his retirement from MMA competition through an open letter to his fans on December 18, 2012, citing a chronic injury and a lack of time for his family as contributing factors in his decision.
About three months after announcing his retirement, Emelianenko announced that he is making a comeback into MMA with ProFC. His first match since retirement however was at the Legend Fighting Show against American MMA superstar Bob Sapp on May 25, 2013, in Moscow. Alexander defeated Bob Sapp by TKO in Round 1.
Alexander was expected to fight Darrill Schoonover on August 25 at the ProFC 50 event in Rostov-on-Don in Russia, but withdrew due to a knee injury. In a video released on the ProFC website, Emelianenko said that he still hopes to go ahead with the much-anticipated rematch with Mirko Cro Cop scheduled for November under the Legend Fighting Show banner.
On October 3, 2009 (2009-10-03), Emelianenko made his professional boxing debut against Khizir Pliev, an army boxing champion from Ingushetia who was also making his professional debut, in a fight that ended in a draw.
Emelianenko moved from his native city, Stary Oskol, to Saint Petersburg in 2003 where he met his future wife. Before moving out of Stary Oskol, Emelianenko regularly trained with his brother Fedor, although they still train together occasionally.
Emelianenko married his wife on September 4, 2004 (2004-09-04). The couple has two daughters one who was born in 2007 and another daughter from Olga's previous relationship.
Originally a member of Red Devil Sport Club after he and his brother Fedor left Russian Top Team, Emelianenko is currently at odds with Red Devil Sport Club's and Fedor's manager Vadim Finkelstein.
In an interview published on March 21, 2008 (2008-03-21), his brother Fedor, in response to a direct question, confirmed that Alexander had spent time in a prison after he was sentenced to 5 years, but was released after 3.5 years. Alexander, however, has several times denied ever spending time in prison, including in an interview published on December 5, 2008 (2008-12-05) in the same publication where his brother commented about the issue. Some commentators have put in doubt Emelianenko's prison time because of Japan's strict immigration policy against convicted felons, which normally would not allow him to fight in Japan as he has done, while others point out that some of his tattoos are an indication that he spent some time in prison, although some of his tattoos would indicate a status which he could not achieve at the time of his imprisonment for being too young.
Emelianenko has studied English and, in 2003, he enrolled himself in economics courses at the Belgorod State University from which he graduated in 2009 with a bachelor's degree.
Emelianenko has several tattoos on his body and claims that they do not really have a meaning for him, he just likes them as a hobby.
Emelianenko likes hunting and once told in the interview that he killed a bear by piercing through its throat with bear spear and then stabbing it in the heart with a knife, a traditional way of Russian bear hunting, nowadays almost never practiced.
After the 2008 South Ossetia Conflict he went to South Ossetia to train in preparation for his bout against Sang Soo Lee, in a sign of solidarity with the Ossetian people.
In a controversy apparently sparked by Emelianenko's tattoos, a story shown in Russian channel NTV on March 20, 2010 (2010-03-20) presented Emelianenko as a Russian nationalist, equated with Roman Zentsov, which Emelianenko quickly denied, stating that he was only engaged in the development of MMA in his country, with no political motivations, especially for extremist groups.
Emelianenko has made some appearances in TV shows, including a Korean comedy show and Russia Channel One's show Big Races where he participated and lost two teeth in a competition against a bull in 2010.
Emelianenko also participated as one of the protagonists, along with fellow MMA fighter Julia Berezikova and other Russian athletes, in the 2010 Russian TV series starring Yevgeni Sidikhin, Olympic Village.
Emelianenko was accused of having assaulted and raped his former housekeeper Polina Stepanova, on May 2, 2014, as well as stealing her passport. Emelianenko, pleaded not guilty and claimed the sex was consensual. Prosecutors were asking for five years in prison for Emelianenko. On May 19, 2015, Emelianenko was found guilty of sexual assault and convicted to four and a half years in prison along with a $1000 (US) fine. On 20 May 2015, his promoter Oleg Rajewski stated that he would appeal the decision. On 24 September 2015, the appeal was declined. Emelianenko was released on parole in October 2016. He's seeking a return to MMA in 2017.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
- Professional Fighting Championships
- ProFC Heavyweight Championship (One time)
- 2010 SportAccord World Combat Games Combat Sambo Silver Medalist
- Fédération Internationale Amateur de Sambo
- 2006 FIAS World Combat Sambo Championships Gold Medalist
- 2004 FIAS World Combat Sambo Championships Gold Medalist
- 2003 FIAS World Combat Sambo Championships Gold Medalist
- 1999 European Championships Sport Sambo Gold Medalist
- All-Russia Sambo Federation
- Russian Combat Sambo National Championship (2003, 2004, 2006, 2010)
- Russian Combat Sambo National Championship Runner-up (2012)
- Combat Sambo Federation of Russia
- Russian Combat Sambo National Championship (2003)
- 2004 Dagestan Open Combat Sambo Silver Medalist
- 2003 Union of Heroes Cup Combat Sambo Silver Medalist
- 2003 Moscow Open Combat Sambo Silver Medalist
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|30 matches||23 wins||7 losses|
|Loss||23–7||Dmitriy Sosnovskiy||TKO (punches)||Coliseum FC - New History 2||000000002014-01-25-0000January 25, 2014||1||1:43||St. Petersburg, Russia|
|Win||23–6||Jose Rodrigo Guelke||TKO (punches)||ProFC 49 - Resurrection||000000002013-07-04-0000July 4, 2013||1||4:10||Moscow, Russia|
|Win||22–6||Bob Sapp||TKO (punches)||Legend - Emelianenko vs. Sapp||000000002013-05-25-0000May 25, 2013||1||1:18||Moscow, Russia|
|Loss||21–6||Jeff Monson||Submission (north-south choke)||M-1 Challenge 35||000000002012-11-15-0000November 15, 2012||2||3:17||St. Petersburg, Russia|
|Win||21–5||Konstantin Gluhov||Decision (unanimous)||M-1 Challenge 34||000000002012-09-30-0000September 30, 2012||3||5:00||Moscow, Russia|
|Win||20–5||Ibragim Magomedov||TKO (doctor stoppage)||M-1 Challenge 33||000000002012-06-06-0000June 6, 2012||2||5:00||Dzheyrakhsky District, Ingushetia, Russia|
|Win||19–5||Tadas Rimkevicius||TKO (punches)||M-1 Challenge 31||000000002012-03-16-0000March 16, 2012||2||1:55||Saint Petersburg, Russia|
|Win||18–5||Tolegen Akylbekov||Submission (kimura)||Bushido Lithuania: vol. 50||000000002011-12-21-0000December 21, 2011||1||4:32||Almaty, Kazakhstan|
|Loss||17–5||Magomed Malikov||KO (punch)||M-1 Challenge 28: Emelianenko vs. Malikov||000000002011-11-12-0000November 12, 2011||1||0:23||Astrakhan, Russia|
|Loss||17–4||Peter Graham||TKO (leg kicks)||Draka - Governor's Cup 2010||000000002010-12-18-0000December 18, 2010||2||2:59||Khabarovsk Krai, Russia|
|Win||17–3||Miodrag Petkovic||TKO (punches)||APF - Azerbaijan vs. Europe||000000002010-05-22-0000May 22, 2010||1||3:00||Baku, Azerbaijan|
|Win||16–3||Eddy Bengtsson||TKO (punch)||ProFC - Commonwealth Cup||000000002010-04-23-0000April 23, 2010||1||0:40||Moscow, Russia|
|Win||15–3||Ibragim Magomedov||TKO (doctor stoppage)||ProFC: Russia vs. Europe||000000002009-03-29-0000March 29, 2009||1||0:51||Rostov-on-Don, Russia|
|Win||14–3||Lee Sang-Soo||KO (punches)||M-1 Challenge 9: Russia||000000002008-11-21-0000November 21, 2008||1||2:40||Saint Petersburg, Russia|
|Win||13–3||Silvao Santos||KO (punch)||M-1 Challenge 2: Russia||000000002008-04-03-0000April 3, 2008||1||1:34||Saint Petersburg, Russia|
|Win||12–3||Dan Bobish||Submission (standing guillotine choke)||HCF: Title Wave||000000002007-10-19-0000October 19, 2007||1||1:09||Calgary, Alberta, Canada|
|Win||11–3||Jessie Gibbs||Submission (kimura)||M-1 MFC: Battle on the Neva||000000002007-07-21-0000July 21, 2007||1||3:37||Saint Petersburg, Russia|
|Win||10–3||Eric Pele||KO (punches)||BodogFIGHT: Clash of the Nations||000000002007-04-14-0000April 14, 2007||1||4:07||Saint Petersburg, Russia|
|Loss||9–3||Fabrício Werdum||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||2 Hot 2 Handle: Pride & Honor||000000002006-11-12-0000November 12, 2006||1||3:24||Rotterdam, Netherlands|
|Win||9–2||Sergei Kharitonov||TKO (knee and punches)||Pride FC - Final Conflict Absolute||000000002006-09-10-0000September 10, 2006||1||6:45||Saitama, Saitama, Japan||Pride 2006 Heavyweight Grand Prix Reserve Bout.|
|Loss||8–2||Josh Barnett||Submission (americana)||Pride FC - Total Elimination Absolute||000000002006-05-05-0000May 5, 2006||2||1:57||Osaka, Osaka, Japan||Pride 2006 Heavyweight Grand Prix Opening Round.|
|Win||8–1||Pawel Nastula||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Pride Shockwave 2005||000000002005-12-31-0000December 31, 2005||1||8:45||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Win||7–1||Rene Rooze||KO (punches)||Bushido Europe: Rotterdam Rumble||000000002005-10-09-0000October 9, 2005||1||0:28||Rotterdam, Netherlands|
|Win||6–1||Ricardo Morais||KO (punches)||Pride Bushido 6||000000002005-04-03-0000April 3, 2005||1||0:15||Yokohama, Japan|
|Win||5–1||James Thompson||KO (punch)||Pride 28||000000002004-10-31-0000October 31, 2004||1||0:11||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Win||4–1||Carlos Barreto||Decision (unanimous)||M-1 MFC: Heavyweight GP||000000002004-10-09-0000October 9, 2004||3||5:00||Saint Petersburg, Russia|
|Loss||3–1||Mirko Cro Cop||KO (head kick and punches)||Pride Final Conflict 2004||000000002004-08-15-0000August 15, 2004||1||2:09||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Win||3–0||Matt Foki||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Pride Bushido 3||000000002004-05-23-0000May 23, 2004||1||3:16||Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan|
|Win||2–0||Angelo Araujo||TKO (doctor stoppage)||Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003||000000002003-12-31-0000December 31, 2003||2||4:28||Kobe, Hyogo, Japan|
|Win||1–0||Assuerio Silva||Decision (split)||Pride Bushido 1||000000002003-10-05-0000October 5, 2003||2||5:00||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|